Friday, January 24, 2020

Happy Year of the Rat 2020 to all Readers.

Image result for five guys

I will be Malaysia in Chinese New Year so I thought I'd wish everyone earlier this year as I continue to find ways to use up the Ringgit I failed to spend in Kuala Lumpur last week.

a) What I will be doing

Very likely I will go to Kulai tomorrow in the afternoon on the second day, my in laws will take a 2-3 hour drive to visit relatives in Kluang region. I will be relying on 1 Gb of Starhub data unless someone can sell me a SIM card when I am in Malaysia.

b) Financial Markets

It is very apt that we're starting the new year with a reminder that rats bring the Bubonic plague.

The Wuhan virus just claimed 25 lives and China seems to be in a panic mode as we speak. The historical literature on pandemics points to neutral or positive market but I suggest that we hold back from bargain until we know more about the Corona virus.

Epidemiologists model diseases based on three variable, probability of contact, probability of infection and probability of recovery. Probability of contact will be lower than SARS because of drastic measures taken by the Chinese government to lock-down actual cities. We are still not too sure how easy it is to contact the virus and what the odds of recovery are compared to previous outbreaks.  Over the next few weeks, we have to assess these remaining variables. If the numbers are milder than MERS or SARS, then maybe a position can be taken in the markets.

In the meantime just stay safe.

c) What I am working on

My course is taking a one month break but I am busy building a new preview format to keep things fresh. My newer preview entitled "Roads to Riches" is ready for beta launch and Dr Wealth sales staff will be working with me to make the message more coherent and palatable. All my effort will be focused on getting this to work over the CNY holidays. "The Four Seasons" is a frank and brutal discussion about our lives in general, I intend the "Roads to Riches" to be a deconstruction on how people get rich in Singapore. The first launch is the next preview in February.

My other project is the Seedly FIRE talk and we're making greater progress with all the solid materials incorporated into my slides. As in all public talks involving thousands of Millenials, I want to inject elements of pop culture into the presentation but the slides don't seem to be ready for that yet.

d) My physical training regime

After getting my flu jabs to ensure that I can run my classes without interruption, right now I am combining intermittent fasting with weekly gym exercise. The primary objective is to lower my blood sugar and arrest my muscle decline (and possible Sarcopenia). I am starting to see some improvements within 2 weeks of work, but I have a long way to go.

My body is still weak from years of neglect. After a workout with my trainer, I can't even feel my legs. Two days later, I would get really bad muscle pains but after that, I feel fitter than before and walked 9 hours in KL non-stop with a full pack of second hand books. 

My trainer is quite appalled at the state of my physical fitness. He kept saying that I should have showed up years ago. If you really want to deconstruct my life right now, it's all about making money early and then using the money to sort out the areas you have neglected earlier in your life.

I don't think this is a smart thing to do but I should enjoy my better body this CNY. Resolutions lose their momentum sometime in March and I won't be surprised I start to slack later this year.

The jury is still out whether my diabetes control will improve, workouts make my hungry and I went to Five Guys to have a burger last night !

e) Leisure and Hobbies

Took me damn long to start following The Expanse on Amazon Prime. This is a serious hard sci-fi story that has spawned at least one RPG. I am taking it slow and prioritizing my work.

I am still on figuring out Machine Learning in the finance domain and reading a book on it. The book has gotten really hard core but the insights are amazing. I think ETFs combined with AI will get fund managers into serious trouble.

The future looks bright for the retail investor though.

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